Gender and Neural Substrates of Stress and Craving

2014-08-27 03:27:33 | BioPortfolio


Cocaine dependence is an insidious disease underscored by a powerful proclivity to relapse despite an individual's ability to recognize the deleterious consequences of continued drug use. To date, there are only a limited number of treatments, and no FDA approved medications for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Attempts to find reliable and successful treatments for cocaine dependence may be marred by gender differences in brain chemistry, structure, and function that are manifested as drug craving and relapse. For example, cues, drug exposure, and stress promote relapse, yet females appear be more susceptible to stress induced relapse, while males may be more susceptible to cue induced relapse. Therefore identifying the neural substrates involved in processing the valence of internal and external stimuli may provide further insight into cocaine dependence and provide more effective therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing relapse.

Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) is a pharmacological activator of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, and has been implicated in stress induced drug relapse. Corticotropin releasing hormone receptors are located at extrahypothalamic brain nuclei that have been implicated in determining the significance of both internal (somatic) and external (environmental) stimuli. The primary directive of this pilot project is to utilize functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify possible brain nuclei associated with with stress induced drug craving in cocaine dependent females.

Study Design

Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Prospective


Cocaine Dependence




Clinical Neurosciences Division-Medical University of South Carolina
South Carolina
United States




Medical University of South Carolina

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:27:33-0400

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